2023-01 Parish Council meeting minutes 5th January 2023

Held in Gittisham Parish Room


Village ward: Cllr C Hall (Chair), Cllr M Walker, Cllr D Valentine, Cllr A Rowe

Vale ward: Cllr J Twist (Vice Chair), Cllr P Orchard, Cllr J Fowles

In attendance: Cllr Phil Twiss (DCC), Cllr Alasdair Bruce (EDDC), one member of the public, Fiona Clampin (clerk)

Apologies for absence: PCSO Darren England

130/22        To accept and approve apologies

Apologies were received and accepted.

131/22        To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2022

The minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2022 were confirmed and signed by the Chair. 

132/22        To receive the Beat Manager’s Report

Oct 2022: 1 x violence & sexual offences, Beech Walk

Nov 2022: no reported crimes.

133/22        To receive declarations of interest

Cllrs Twist and Walker declared an interest in agenda item 13, as they are members of Gittisham PCC (minute ref. 142/22). 

134/22        To consider actions from the last meeting not otherwise on the agenda

Cllr Rowe encouraged all those who had not yet set up their new gittisham.org.uk email addresses to do so before the next meeting.

135/22        Reports from County Council and District Council representatives

Cllr Bruce said district councillors were awaiting guidance from EDDC as to how the council will accommodate new policy coming out of Whitehall which could potentially affect EDDC’s draft Local Plan.  Cllr Valentine asked to be kept informed if anything changes regarding EDDC’s Local Plan.

He then provided members with a summary of the communication regarding the Church Mead garages.  He said the situation has progressed surprisingly little with EDDC officers, and he pledged to put together a list in chronological order of what had been done and not done which he would then present to officers.  The Chair thanked Cllr Bruce for his tenacity, and Cllr Walker said she would inform Church Mead residents.

Cllr Twiss wished all members a happy New Year and said that Devon County Council is doing everything possible that it can to help and support our communities, in partnership with very many stakeholders across the county.

Back to school advice issued by UKHSA

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reports that flu and coronavirus are currently circulating at high levels, and are likely to continue to increase in coming weeks.  High numbers of scarlet fever, caused by group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported. Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser for the UKHSA emphasizes that it is important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible.

If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved. Lessons learned during the epidemic about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practising regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water for all of the family remains sound practice.  Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues, then binning them is another simple way to help stop illnesses spreading, as well as adults trying to stay home when unwell and if you have to go out, wear a face covering.

‘Flu vaccinations are still available for all eligible groups and are the best protection against the virus. There has been a good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. ‘Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. Getting children vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with.

Eligible children include for free vaccination are:

  • those aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2022
  • all primary school-aged children
  • some secondary school-aged children

Keep your New Year resolution with the help of One Small Step

The beginning of a new year can be a great opportunity to create a new habit. One Small Step has many options for support to help you keep your resolution in 2023, or inspire you to make the change.  Studies have found some of our New Year resolutions will struggle to make it past 12 January, but with the support of others, we can make them last much longer. One Small Step is a free lifestyle service, funded by Devon County Council, to support the health and wellbeing of Devon residents.  There are friendly advisors who can help you plan lifestyle changes and support you to maintain a healthier weight, stop smoking, drink less or become more active. Flexible support means they can help you focus on small achievable steps to fit in with your lifestyle and routine.

You can reach them by calling 01392 908 139, take a look at our website at www.onesmallstep.org.uk or fill out a contact form.  DCC also has a team of stop smoking practitioners, so if you are thinking about stopping smoking, you can also text them by messaging QUIT to 60777. There is 12 weeks of Behavioural support on offer, along with Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Devon’s continued support for the people of Ukraine

Devon County Council has given a measured welcome to a Home Office announcement that will see additional payments made to host households participating in the Homes to Ukraine programme.

Under the new terms, the hosts of Ukrainian guests who have been in the UK for more than 12 months will be eligible for the increased national ‘Thank You’ payment of £500.  The current national amount is £350 per host. This increased national amount is available until month 24 of the guests’ stay in the UK. But councils will see government funding reduce from £10,500 to £5,900 per guest to provide wraparound support for new arrivals from 1 January 2023.  They will however have access to additional funding to help mitigate homelessness, and to help councils with housing responsibilities acquire housing for people fleeing conflict from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

In Devon, more than 1,000 people have put themselves forward to be sponsors with over 500 more confirming their interest in becoming a future host. This has meant that more than 1,600 citizens from Ukraine have arrived since Russia first invaded the country in February 2022. Devon County Council will continue to work closely with local councils, voluntary and local community organisations to support both hosts and their guests.

Cllr Twiss said he would be meeting staff from Jurassic Fibre at some point this month to discuss progress on broadband. 

ACTION: Cllr Twiss agreed to ask Highways about the drain by Rapshayes Farm, as well as access to the proposed Combe Farm Shop at the garden centre. 

Cllrs Bruce and Twiss left the meeting.

136/22   To consider the following planning application:

  • 22/2723/FUL Combe Garden Centre Gittisham EX14 3PD – New farm shop and associated landscaping works adjacent to the site of the existing Combe Garden Centre

Parish councillors resolved to object to this application for reasons of prematurity, highways and flooding. The highway upgrade required is not addressed by this application to enable decision-making, and there is no secure pedestrian access to the centre (contrary to information provided in this application). The area already has issues with run-off and flooding.

137/22   To consider EDDC’s emerging Local Plan and agree the parish council’s response to the public consultation

Members discussed the PC’s response to EDDC’s draft local plan and agreed the objection letter circulated by Cllr Valentine.  The Chair encouraged everyone who had not already done so to respond to the public consultation by 15th January deadline, and thanked councillors for their work in raising awareness of the draft plan proposals in the community.  She said it had been a really successful exercise in engaging with the parish.  The parish council objects to both proposals for the parish, and understands there is considerable local opposition. Concerns were also raised over access to another proposed site (LP_HONI_01) which is just outside the parish, but would be reached by roads in Gittisham Vale. 

ACTION: Clerk to send GPC’s response to EDDC Planning Policy and also to Honiton Nub News.

138/22     To receive reports from councillors on areas of responsibility and actions since the last meeting:

  • To note the latest planning decision notices

21/2602/FUL & 21/2603/LBC Pomeroy House Gittisham EX14 3AJ Single-storey extension to side with raised patio, installation of porch canopy and alterations to courtyard, west elevation and east elevation, involving demolition of existing porch to side.  Refusal.

22/1197/FUL  Proposed siting of 5 x Shepherd’s Huts in the field southeast of Curlditch House  Gittisham EX14 3AE Approval with conditions.

  • To receive an update on Highways

16 January overnight road closure under Iron Bridge for bridge inspection.

10-16 March Honiton bypass will have various closures for overnight maintenance.

Cllr Orchard reported that the balancing pond grill was cleared out again mid-December.

  • To consider plans for expenditure in the parish under the Community Infrastructure Levy & S106

Cllr Orchard reported that Honiton Town Council has arranged a meeting for 31st January to discuss how to spend Gittisham’s S106 money.  The clerk said she had explained the situation to HTC.

ACTION: Clerk to send Cllr Orchard contact details for S106 at EDDC.    

  • To receive an update on public transport

Cllr Orchard explained that single bus fares have been capped at £2 until the end of March 2023.  All single journeys will be capped at a maximum of £2 for the duration of the scheme. The same £2 cap applies to child and concessionary fares. If the fare is currently less than £2, the price will stay the same; if the fare is currently more than £2 then the price will be reduced to £2.

  • To consider climate change measures within the parish, including proposals for rewilding land in the parish

Cllr Twist said there was no update on this.

ACTION: Cllr Rowe to send the Chair the application form for Co-Mobility Bikes.    

  • To consider parish council support for scam awareness and security

Cllr Twist reported that said an alert had gone out about missing dog scams circulating on Facebook, asking people to click on a link.

  • To consider limited residential development in the parish

Cllr Valentine reported that there was no update on this.

  • To consider making an application for a permissive path, Goldcombe-Hayne Lane

The clerk reported there was no update on this.

  • To consider the refurbishment and maintenance of the village play area

Cllr Walker said the rubbish bin had been emptied.

  • To consider work to be carried out by the lengthsman to maintain ditches and drains in the parish

Cllr Walker agreed to inform Len Abbott that the drain needs clearing outside Clysthayes / corner of Dark Lane.  The clerk said she had ordered 1 tonne of salt from DCC. 

ACTION: Clerk to produce a laminated sign for the Curlditch grit store.

139/22     To receive a report from the Chair

The Chair thanked all members for their work on raising awareness of EDDC’s draft Local Plan.

140/22     To consider decorating and / or refurbishing the parish council’s bus shelters

The Chair said any repairs would need a contractor, and it was agreed to postpone this project until the spring when the weather is warmer and perhaps drier.

141/22     To consider donations to organisations under S137 and Transport

Members agreed to donate £100 each to TRIP, Operation Rudolph, Hospiscare & Diabetes UK.

142/22     To consider a request by Gittisham PCC to fund repairs to the lych gate

Cllrs Walker and Twist left the meeting.

The clerk said she was waiting for legal advice from DALC / NALC as to whether the parish council could contribute towards the cost of a surveyor to establish the state of the war memorial.  

Cllrs Walker and Twist returned to the meeting.

143/22     To approve the January payments and to note the current bank balance

1210       Noticeboard Co   £202.17 outstanding VAT for 3 x magnetic noticeboards for bus shelters

                F Clampin             £228.74 Clerk’s salary + expenses £0.68 (stamp)

                Len Abbott           £116, 8 hours lengthsman work, Nov 2022  

                Len Abbott           £36.25, 2.5 hours lengthsman work, Dec 2022            

                Sara Trumper       £215.24 Reimbursement for food & sundries, Gittisham Community Kitchen, Dec 2022

                Gittisham Parish Hall £150 comfy chairs      

                Information Commissioner£40        Annual membership

TRIP                      £100       Donation

Operation Rudolph £100   Donation

Hospiscare            £100       Donation

Diabetes UK         £100       Donation

DD          NEST                     £22.86   Clerk’s pension  

Members were informed that the current bank balance stands at £20,732.73 (which includes approximately £7,000 in the business reserve account). 

144/22     To agree the budget for 2023-24

The clerk and Cllr Twist outlined likely expenditure for the rest of the current tax year, and circulated a spreadsheet showing forecast expenditure for 2023/24.  Councillors suggested adding a new line for a community engagement event in future years, and agreed with Cllr Valentine’s suggestion that the parish council should develop a strategic plan.  Cllr Orchard added that more events should be planned for Gittisham Vale. 

ACTION: Clerk to request up to date figures from EDDC for a rubbish bin. 

145/22     To set the precept for 2023-24

Councillors voted unanimously to increase the precept by 11 per cent to £9,307.41, the balance of the budget to be taken from reserves.  Members agreed that as the population of the parish has increased significantly, this should not represent a rise at the individual level.

146/22     To update the parish council’s banking policy and existing bank mandate

The clerk said she had distributed the online banking tools to the Chair and Cllr Twist in the hope that payments can soon be made online.

147/22     Clerk’s Report

The clerk said Royal Mail had sent her a form to fill out regarding the potential move of a postbox. 

148/22     For information only; items for the forward agenda

CIL & S106; play area annual maintenance contract.

149/22     To consider any late entry correspondence

Cllr Rowe said he would be available to help if any member had issues with setting up their new email account.

ACTION: Chair to investigate why the Midweek Herald is no longer being delivered to the village bus shelter. 

150/22     Date of next two meetings  

Thursday 2nd February and Thursday 2nd March 2023 at 7.30pm. 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2145 hrs.


2nd February 2023